Ivor O’Connor

October 18, 2012

Ekiga As A Skype Replacement

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 3:58 am

As most know Skype works on M$, Apple, and *nix. Skype voice quality is fantastic too. The price is great too. Slightly less than $100 a year for unlimited calling along with a real telephone number others can use to call you. From a simple users perspective the only thing that sucks about Skype is the constant spam.

There’s no way to tell Skype to only accept phone calls from valid telephone numbers and filter out calls from internet spammers. It would be very easy. Their “solution” is to only allow incoming calls that are in your address book. All I know is I *NEVER* expect or want to hear from anybody who isn’t calling from a real telephone number. And since I’m running a business I have no idea who will call next. So I’m constantly blocking and flagging incoming “calls” and reporting them as “abusive”. Skype never follows up. In fact Skype actively deletes forum postings about this problem!

The constant spam was enough to make me want to get rid of Skype. Looking at Richard Stallman’s Personal Page I noticed references like “Skype makes chats and user data more available to police” from the Washington Post. Fortunately Stallman has already done his homework and recommends the use of “Ekiga” as a Skype replacement. Tonight I installed Ekiga.

Ekiga is a little troublesome to use but the price, voice quality, and lag time are all on par with Skype. In other words I can hear a pin drop in the room next to me and every little mild inflection that makes up my voice. Perhaps it is better than Skype when it comes to voice quality. The troubles come from setting it up.

Ekiga requires you to register a SIP account. Then you must buy an outgoing VOIP solution for hooking into the POT network. Which naturally requires credit cards and more accounts. There is a different pay structure too. Instead of Skypes unlimited calling the default Ekiga setup through http://www.diamondcard.us costs 1.6 cents a minute. I don’t know if this price is for incoming calls as well as outgoing calls but I hope not. Hopefully not.

Support for Ekiga is almost non existent. I posted a simple question on their irc channel. No response. I went through their FAQ, manual, troubleshooting manual, developers blogs, GIT directories, etc., and it is all very sparse. As in maybe three postings a year sparse! I couldn’t find the solution to why my accounts were not validating but it turned out that I was just being impatient. I guess it’s like switching DNS routings. You have to wait until the new addresses make it out. I emailed the DiamondCard people a few days ago about their pricing  but haven’t received any response. I left a voice message with them today and haven’t heard anything back. Skype and Google are no different though. I guess in these times of austerity nobody cares about support.

Hopefully Ekiga will be a solution I can live with for years to come. I’ll continue to use Skype along side Ekiga until I’m sure though!


1 Comment »

  1. Unfortunately, IRC is not well followed by devs. have you poste your question on mailing-list? Also, have you used ekiga 3.9.90? Furthermore, it is not required to register a SIP account, as shown by the new 3rd page of assistant configuration. Please contact ML for more information.

    Eugen Dedu

    Comment by Eugen Dedu — December 8, 2012 @ 1:03 pm

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